The Best Paint Rollers on the Market

By Mike Gregory


Having good quality tools makes all the difference in decorating. I’ve been a professional painter for almost 20 years, and I’d struggle to achieve a good finish with cheap kit, particularly brushes and rollers. I thought I’d take a little bit of time to sit down and write about what I think are the three best paint rollers on the market. I really hope you find it useful.


First of all, you should steer clear of DIY type tools and opt for the brands us decorators use. That means staying away from places like B&Q or Homebase and opting for trade paint outlets. There are various places online you could look at which I’ll link in as I go (no, I’m not on commission).


Purdy Colossus Paint Roller


I thought I’d start with the brand I’ve been using throughout my career. The Purdy colossus holds and distributes a ridiculous amount of paint over large areas. Perfect for masonry paint, mist coating or ceilings.


The Purdy Colossus roller comes as a 9, 12 or 18 inch, so just opt for the size which suits the size of the area you’re painting. Although if you’re in doubt, go for the 9 inch, as you’ll be able to use it anywhere.


As mentioned above, the colossus roller spreads a huge amount of paint, so it is perfect for applying thick coats quickly and easily. It is one of the best out there, but there are a couple of disadvantages. Firstly, this roller sleeve will leave a slight texture on your paint finish, so take care to lay off your wall or ceiling once you’ve applied the paint. The second disadvantage is the roller sleeve sheds little blue fibres on the first run out. It is fine from the second use onwards. I often wrap and unwrap a new roller with duct tape, which pulls any rogue fibres out. You can buy these online, or from any good trade paint outlet.


Rota (Dualon Polyamide Medium Pile)


I thought I’d mention the Rota, simply because they are the best value for money you’ll ever come across when buying paint rollers. Manufactured by Ciret, these beauties are best in medium pile. They come in a variety of sizes, but I generally opt for the 12 inch.


These rollers are primarily used by the trade, however you will also find them in places like Tool Station.


The pick-up and distribution of paint by these rollers is bang on. You can easily achieve a great finish in very little time. I love these paint rollers!!


Hamilton Perfection Green Paint Roller (medium pile)


Hamilton are a brand associated with the trade and these rollers are possibly the most widely used by professional decorators. You can buy them online, or basically any trade decorating centre!! Again, as with a lot of medium pile rollers, I prefer to go for 12 inch most of the time. Not just because of the time saved by going big, but it’s also easier to achieve a better finish.


Paint pick-up and distribution are good, but the best attribute to these rollers is how flat and even the paint finish can be. There is barely any texture in the finish at all. I like using Hamilton medium pile for any durable emulsion paints but tend to go for something that holds a bit more material when using cheaper vinyl, or contract matt.


Best Roller Frames


OK, I’ve mentioned three different brands of roller sleeve in the above sections. It may interest you to know that each brand of sleeve is compatible with each brand of roller frame. It may be easier to buy your roller and frame as a kit, or you can do what I do, and cherry pick the best of both worlds.


I don’t like Purdy roller frames as they tend to break. Ciret (Rota) are good for the price you can pick them up for, but if you’re using it every day as I do, they don’t tend to last. Ciret frames might be perfect if you’re a Handyman or DIYer, as you won’t hammer it in the same way a decorator would.


For me, the best brand of paint roller is Hamilton by a country mile!!


For a 9inch sleeve you should go for the Hamilton Perfection Cage Frame, available online, this sleek paint roller cage offers a robust wooden handle, and a stainless-steel arm and cage. It’s lightweight and the sleeves fit nicely. What more could you ask for?


For a 12inch roller sleeve, go for the Perfection Adjustable Double Arm Frame. The beauty of the “adjustable” is you can use it with 12 and 15inch roller sleeves without issue. This roller frame is manufactured from an aluminium composite which is both robust and very light. Just make sure you remove as much paint as possible at the end of every use or the nuts will jam.


Roller Poles


I’m not going to bore you with a whole section on this. Any roller pole with a screw attachment for the frame will work well. You can either go for Purdy or Hamilton.

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The Best Paint Rollers on the Market